Extending student visas

Under Australian migration law, it is not possible to extend a student visa.

You need to apply for a new visa if:

  • you cannot return to your home country, and your visa is expiring
  • you need more time in Australia to complete your course.

You should apply for a new Student visa six weeks before your existing Student visa expires. There is no need to provide evidence of the impacts of COVID-19 with your Student visa application.

If your study in Australia is ending, you can apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600). You need to do this before your student visa expires.

Working in Australia

The course is ‘out of session.’

You can work unlimited hours if your course is considered ‘out of session’. Courses are considered ‘out of session’ during scheduled course breaks or if a student has finished their course as scheduled.

Studying a masters by research or a doctorate course

If you have commenced studying a masters by research or a doctorate course, you may work unlimited hours.

Studying online

You cannot work more than 40 hours per fortnight when your course of study is ‘in-session’, regardless of whether you are attending classes physically or online. A course is considered ‘in-session’ for the duration of the advertised semesters (including periods when exams are being held) even if the student is studying online.

Approved deferral of your course

You can work over 40 hours per fortnight if your course has been deferred.

Exemptions for some international students

There are new provisions for student visa holders if they are:

  • already enrolled in nursing
  • employed by select supermarkets.

See employers included in these special work arrangements. 

Australian study requirements

The Department of Home Affairs does not regulate the mode of study requirements. You should contact your education provider. Please refer to the Joint TEQSA and ASQA statement relating to flexible delivery. For the exceptions as a result of the travel restrictions, see the National Code requirements for affected tertiary students to undertake online study.

Notifying the Department

You do not need to inform the Department if you return home, or your study situation changes. Your visa remains valid until you lodge another visa application, or your visa expires.  The status of your visa will remain unchanged if you return home or defer your studies.